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The Bright Agency (Children's Illustration blog) The Bright Emporium (STS & Book Launches)

Feronia Parker-Thomas brings Sunshine and Rainbows to Storytime Sunday!

We had another Sunday of great story-telling and creativity last week with Bright illustrator, Feronia Parker-Thomas. Feronia read from How the Crayons Saved the Rainbow, by Monica Sweeney and published by Sky Pony Press — with vibrant and lively illustrations by Feronia herself!

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Our story times are a real community event and it’s such a great way to spend a sunday morning with your children, PLUS… Grown ups get 10% off their coffee from the wonderful Story Coffee – mere steps from the gallery!

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We do making and crafting – there is ALWAYS glitter everywhere, so that during the week, we always seem to be sparkly – which is nice for everyone! We have books for you to buy, and you can get your copy signed by the author and/or illustrator.

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We’d like to thank everyone for coming along – it’s a great way for artists to share their incredible talent with you, and also a wonderful memory to treasure, particularly because many Bright Artists will be household names for generations to come. These are the great illustrators of the future!

If you’d like to work with Feronia Parker -Thomas, you can reach her via her agent, Arabella Stein – arabella@brightgroupinternational.com

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Our next story time will be held on Sunday 19th June, Father’s Day. We will be celebrating the special day with the perfect story, so do join us – it’s going to be a really great morning. Our artist for the event is the wonderful Sebastien Braun and he will be reading from I Love You Daddy Grizzle by Mark Sperring, featuring Seb’s much loved illustrations and published by Penguin.

“Today is a very special day – if only Little Pip could remember why! With Daddy Grizzle’s gentle help, Little Pip works out exactly why today is a day to be celebrated – it’s Father’s Day! – and they spend a glorious day doing all their favourite things. And the best thing? That’s easy – spending time together!

A heart-warming story celebrating the relationship between fathers and their children – with a wonderful message.”

Sebastien Braun’s list of works is extensive and as well as the Daddy Grizzle series, includes titles such as the Can You Say it Too? series and Big Bug Log, both published by Nosy Crow. He illustrated a book recently for The National Trust and his new book, Mayday Mouse  is published by Childs Play on 8th June 2016. Sebastien also has his own series of picture books about a little tug boat called Toot, now airing as a cartoon on Channel five’s Milkshake!

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You can read more about Seb here in our recent blog, where we found out all about his inspiration, his style and his artistic technique.

After story time we will be helping Seb colour in a life size Daddy Grizzle and Pip, which will be displayed in our gallery for all to see and you will have the chance to buy your very own signed copy of the book!

We look forward to seeing you.

Book your free ticket here.

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The Bright Agency (Children's Illustration blog) The Bright Emporium (STS & Book Launches)

Gremlins and poetry?! Yes! A very active and fun-filled storytime Sunday!

This Storytime Sunday was so much fun and we thank you all for coming. If you’ve not yet been, don’t miss out. Here’s a little round up of the days events!

We began the day with creative duo, Charlotte Cooke and Coral Rumble, makers of The Adventures of the Owl and the Pussycat – a new take on the original poem by Edward Lear.

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This book is beautifully written and illustrated and just like the two children in the story, it allows the reader to take part with wonderful words and imagery. After the reading, Coral and Charlotte used animal masks and face paints to create new poems and ideas, encouraging the children to have their own input which was a great way for everyone to join in the fun!

This was a super interactive story time, with creative poetry, games and songs. It was great to see so much audience participation with parents joining in, and our emporium was fit to bursting with so many children, full of the joys of spring thanks to some lovely weekend weather!

As word spreads, our storytime events are becoming busier, so make sure you go to our events page to book your place for the next one.

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We spent the afternoon with Chris Chatterton who recently illustrated the vibrant and interactive lift the flap book Supermarket Gremlins by Adam and Charlotte Guillain.

This book is so eye-catching and it draws you in with vivid colours and the very naughty but extremely cuddly looking gremlins! They are hiding all over the supermarket, making shopping so much less of a chore for children!

Again, this was a lovely afternoon filled with creative interaction for the kids – learning to draw gremlins, and being able to cuddle the cheeky little Gremlin toy, made by Chris’ very talented Mum!

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If you’d like to book either artist for illustration work, please contact out agents for more details. For Charlotte Cooke please contact Nicky Lander: Nicky@brightgroupinternational.com and for Chris Chatterton please contact Arabella Stein: arabella@brightgroupinternational.

We always have books available to buy on the day, with the added value of having your copy signed with a personal message by the author and/or illustrator (as demonstrated below!) It’s a lovely way to spend a Sunday morning with your kids and it’s free! 

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Thanks to all of you who attended, it’s great to see our little community growing more and more at each event.

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Our next storytime is on Sunday 17th April from 10am – 12.00pm with the fantastic Tom Knight and his new book Good Knight, Bad Knight. Book your place here.

We look forward to seeing you!

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The Bright Emporium (STS & Book Launches)

An Eggtastic Storytime Sunday, with Katy Hudson and Laura Hughes

This weekend we had an eggtastic bunny themed February Storytime Sunday in the lead up to Easter, with Katy Hudson [Too Many Carrots, Bear and Duck] and Laura Hughes [We’re Going on an Egg Hunt, Terrible Tim] visiting the Bright Emporium at the end of the month. Packed to the brim with children and parents, this fun day proved no child can have too many carrots, glittery eggs or bunny ears…

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Laura got the egg rolling with the flap filled We’re Going on an Egg Hunt. Based on the traditional ‘We’re Going on a Lion Hunt’ rhyme, she read the book out asking the children to take turns and lift the flaps as they went, counting all the eggs they found on the way.

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We’re going on an egg hunt. We’re going to find them all. We’re REALLY excited. Hooray for Easter Day! Join the Easter Bunnies as they set off on an exciting lift-the-flap Easter egg hunt. With ten eggs to find and count, it’s great fun.

 

 

Katy then taught us all the lesson that we should share, with her loveable book Too Many Carrots.

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Rabbit has too many carrots, which overtake his house. When he tries to move in with friends, more chaos ensues. Will Rabbit learn to change his selfish ways?

Watch the trailer here.

 

Bunny ear headpieces, giant egg making, glitter covering and carrot crafting activity ensued! Our drawing table was a hive of activity and we were delighted to see as many enthusiastic parents as children with safety scissors and glue.

Check out our February Storytime Sunday montage!

Feb STS montage

Many thanks to Katy and Laura for visiting us at The Emporium and running both the morning and afternoon Storytime Sunday sessions- a double whammy treat! Their books Too Many Eggs and We’re Going on an Egg Hunt complimented each other perfectly for an Easter themed event.

Book for your next Storytime Sunday: We always have Storytime on the last sunday of the month. However this march it falls on Easter day, so we will push the event back by one week, to Sunday 3rd April.

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Visit Charlotte Cooke and Coral Rumble in the morning for The Owl and the Pussy Cat 10am – 12pm: More information and how to book here.

Chris Chatterton will be getting mischievous with his Supermarket Gremlins in the afternoon, 2pm – 4pm: More information and how to book here.

 

 

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The Bright Agency (Children's Illustration blog) The Bright Emporium (STS & Book Launches)

Supertato & The Super-Duo Behind the Book

At Bright we are extremely proud of Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet, who are currently on tour for World book day with their creation – that much loved hero of veg, Supertato

We want to share with you the thoughts and ideas and beginnings of this truly remarkable little vegetable – so let me hand you over to Sue and Paul for a behind the book spectacular!

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Sue and Paul at The Bright Emporium (top) World book day reading (photo courtesy of Simon & Schuster) 

So, we had always wanted to do a story about a superhero. A new exciting, dynamic, crime fighting icon of justice. But who or what should this character be? A dinosaur – pirate – alien – radio-active – bug – thing? No, no, no, that’s far too common! We decided on a humble spud, a plain old potato for our story.

Our character started life in a garden; living half way down a compost heap.

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It’s arch enemy was a giant fluffy bunny who commanded an army of evil carrots.

 Carrots who tried to defeat our hero with a pan of baked beans and a good helping of cheese!

‘Hang on, that’s not how the story goes!!’ you may well be saying.

True, but that was how it started!

We always work together to create the books. When I say together I mean that we both write the text for them and we both make the pictures for them. I don’t mean that we both hold the same pencil – that would be silly.

One of the things we realised about each other on our early dates was that we loved to laugh. We are almost competitive in our desire to get a huge, drink out of the nose, belly laugh from of the other. For every two or three funny lines we put in a book there are hundreds that are either too long, too silly, or too rude to get in.

Usually one of us will come up with an idea, then together we will try to flesh it out. Sometimes that idea is just a sketch on a scrap of paper or a joke or a concept (where do fish fingers come from for example). We then pass sketches and illustrator documents back and forward between each other gradually sculpting the final art and story. It’s not always straight forward getting the story together. Although we share a sense of humour we differ in what we want from a story. One of us wants a big thrill ride adventure with too many words and too much action and the other wants surreal, no rules, story telling with a tight text. It’s trying to find the middle ground that gives the books their style.

So, even though our books are quite simple, it takes lots of time, experimentation and fierce debate to create a character and to create the right world for it to live in – and decide on what will happen to it. In the example of Supertato, the compost heap just wasn’t right. We experimented with a kitchen and a city but finally agreed on a shop. Here’s a big pile of mock-ups that only made it as far as the re-cycling bin.

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Here are some scribbles from the early versions of Supertato. At first we thought Supertato could be saving vegetables and fruit from their own mishaps but it soon became apparent that we needed a proper baddy.

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As you can see, he defeated an evil soup monster who ended up in a pool of his own broth. Meanwhile Supertato and the pea (his sidekick in this version) look on triumphantly. 

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It’s funny looking back at these versions and seeing that Supertato used to be called Derek.

Once we had the Environment and the characters right we had an absolute ball making the first Supertato.

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We were talking in Supertato and evil pea voices which helped a lot when working out the dialogue and winding up our daughter! When we were asked if we’d like to make a sequel to the first book we jumped at the chance.

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You may notice that in Supertato veggies assemble our hero appears to have some friends. Even a completely amazing superhero needs a hand sometimes.

When we heard that our publisher wanted to put us (and Supertato) forward for a £1 WBD book we were really excited at being involved in such a wonderful endeavour.

They suggested we make a smaller (shorter) version of the first book, but Paul was adamant it needed to be a new story specifically involving books.

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He came up with the idea from beginning to end in about and hour and we started scribbling.

This was our initial plan for the book. You can tell I’m an illustrator can’t you! Unlike many of our books it stayed pretty close to this initial pagination all the way through the process. 

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So, here we are three books in and really excited about doing our World Book Day events.

Thanks to Supertato we’ve been invited to The Hay and Edinburgh festivals for the premiere of our Veggies Assemble ‘show’ (don’t expect too much) the plan is to make some veggie props and get the audience involved. I’m thinking it’s going to be fun… SH

To keep up to date with Sue and Paul’s adventures, you can follow them on Twitter – @suehendra, @PaulLinnet and of course, not forgetting the hero of the hour! @supertato_here

 For any forth-coming events with Sue and Paul, keep an eye on us too – @BrightEmporium and also @Bright_Group

Thanks Sue and Paul for a brilliant peek into your world!

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The Bright Emporium (STS & Book Launches)

Awards Bright Artists won in 2015

It has been a record-smashing year for The Bright Agency artists that showcase their work at the Bright Emporium. Not only have we celebrated major artist successes at every turn and acquired stunning new talent, we’ve also launched Bright USA and opened an innovative creative gallery space for children called The Bright Emporium.

Here’s a closer look at our biggest achievements of 2015…

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In November we opened The Bright Emporium, a resource for children and families to grow their love for beautiful picture books and immerse themselves in a multi-sensory experience. We aim to encourage children to discover the world around them through illustration and by making noise, reading aloud, drawing pictures, and meeting and being inspired by artists!

For our launch, we showed the exhibition “Where The Story Began”—as seen at the Barbican to open The Children’s Bookseller Conference this year. Featuring artwork by 10 artists, including Benji Davies, Yasmeen Ismail, and Sue Hendra, each piece on display also shares the inspiration for the artists’ illustrations and highlights how children’s books come to life.
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Over the past ten years, the Bright Group has become well-established in the UK with a high standard of children’s literary excellence. From ideation to inception, execution to promotion, Bright stands by the artists it represents and helps them to grow in a safe and nurturing environment.
This past April, Bright brought its outstanding reputation and method across the pond with the launch of Bright USA in New York City.

In the nine months that Bright USA has been open, we’ve already seen enormous traction with American clients and have added one-of-a-kind American talent to the Bright roster.

For more exciting 2015 highlights,

click here!

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The Bright Emporium (STS & Book Launches)

The Bright Emporium Opens

Last week the Bright team were delighted to launch The Bright Emporium in Clapham, London. The Bright Emporium is a space to celebrate and acknowledge illustration, where children and families can appreciate and discover this

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The Bright Emporium (STS & Book Launches)

A ‘ROARRRsome’ Storytime Sunday with Julia Patton

On Sunday 15th November we hosted the very first Storytime Sunday at The Bright Emporium with the amazing Julia Patton! Julia’s latest artistic adventure, The Curious Tale of Fi-Rex (Fat Fox) is a

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The Bright Emporium (STS & Book Launches)

Bright collaborators, Whistlefish, welcome royalty in Padstow

With an exciting new chapter in the Bright timeline on the horizon which will see the launching of the Bright Emporium (see below), we are delighted to share news (featuring royalty, no less!)